TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Bottom line: Following a fresh set of leaks around its upcoming Series S and Series X consoles, Microsoft has officially confirmed the existence of its disc-less console, calling the Series S its 'smallest Xbox ever' which it'll sell for $299. While the company looks forward to sharing more information soon, several leaks around the console's design and size comparisons with the Series X have already surfaced on the web, suggesting a $499 price tag for the latter with reports of both consoles launching on November 10, 2020.
That changed today when the company officially confirmed the $299 Xbox Series S. Contrary to previous renders that suggested a cube-like design, the rectangular Series S appears to bear similar dimensions to the current Xbox One X, alongside the lack of a disc slot.
Microsoft's marketing materials for the Series S also highlight its size difference from the bigger, more powerful Series X. Although they don't reveal anything new about the Series S specs, gamers can expect 'next gen performance' thanks to features like Microsoft's Velocity Architecture, backwards compatibility, higher refresh rates and ray tracing support for games at lower resolutions (think 1080p).
A lower performance target helps with the Series S' $299 price tag. Meanwhile, it's now been confirmed the Xbox Series X will cost $499, when both consoles launch on November 10.
In addition to retail, Microsoft will reportedly sell the Series S and Series X through its Xbox All Access program at $25/mo and $35/mo, respectively, making it quite a tempting offer considering that they'll come bundled with Xbox Live and Game Pass subscriptions.
With Microsoft firing the first shot on next-gen console pricing, it remains to be seen what Sony is able to come up with for the PS5. For now, it's just asking players to find some time to relax and reflect as it (hopefully) prepares a suitable response.
Find some time to relax and reflect. pic.twitter.com/yO0HpXInZd--- PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 7, 2020